Celine Stubel, Caroline Gillis, Mary-Colin Chisholm, Dennis Fitzgerald
(photo credit: David Cooper)
And slowly perfect...
Belfry/NAC co-pro stuns
by Jim Murchison
Last night, with the translator and the writer in attendance, the National Arts Centre launched their Studio season with And Slowly Beauty, fresh from a heralded run at the Belfry Theatre in Victoria. The praise is well founded.
Maureen Labonté’s translation of Michel Nadeau’s beautiful piece breathes with vital characters. It weaves the lives of real people with the characters in Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters skillfully. It is respectful to Chekhov without stooping to idol worshipping. This play grabs you equally by your heart and your funny bone and pulls you in for a deep, satisfying kiss. If it’s your first play it is probably the beginning of a long love affair. If you are a regular patron of the theatre, you will welcome the embrace of a long time love. It is a brave undertaking to perform a play that is about how beautiful and transformative theatre can be. If the play works it’s a poignant example of art, imitating art, imitating life. If the play doesn’t work it can be embarrassing and pretentious; as well as tedious and uncomfortable for the audience and the cast.